In the late 1960s there was a song called: Is that all there is? It was performed by Peggy Lee in a voice so haunting, I still remember being completely freaked out and  confused by it as a young girl. Here is the opening verse:

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself, “Is that all there is to a fire?”

It continues through the highlights of her life, a circus, falling in love, and it’s all just one disappointment after another.

It came on the radio the other day and the DJ said: that song was like second hand smoke to a young person. It was such a perfect comment because she was exposing us to thoughts of life being meaningless and having no purpose—and once you’re exposed, it’s in there as a possible way of looking at life.

In my post “If desire were enough” I wrote that wanting to change isn’t enough to make it happen. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your desires, in fact, you should pay a lot of attention to them because that is the cake of your life, not the icing but the cake!

Desire is an inner compass to what matters to us, it’s the map to what will give meaning and purpose to our lives. But it’s not enough by itself, desire needs you to listen to it, it needs you to consider it as worthy of your time and efforts.

The next time your to-do list tries to distract you from your dreams and desires it is up to you to manage it. It’s up to you to choose to set time aside and create space for desire and dreams on that list.

Otherwise you might find yourself living the chorus of that song:

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

Leave a comment below: what is your desire?

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  1. The other day someone asked me if I won a million dollars what would I do. I would open up the handbag line I just closed. As I sit here and read what you wrote I realize, no I would travel the would and have my friends with me and we would make more friends all over the world and it would be amazing. Surrounding myself with my friends and meeting new people and hearing about their lives and being a part of their lives while creating memories. Sounds amazing.

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